CME Group to launch nature-based global emission offset futures

LONDON, June 21 (Reuters) - U.S. exchange operator CME Group will launch a nature-based global emissions offset futures contract on Aug. 1 to help bring more transparency to the growing global voluntary carbon offset market, it said on Monday.

Nature-based offsets can be generated through schemes such as planting trees, agriculture projects or protecting forests that would otherwise be destroyed.

“More companies are relying on nature-based offsets as part of their overall climate strategies as the move to net-zero emissions continues to accelerate,” said Peter Keavey, global head of energy at CME Group.

Many global companies such as oil major Shell have pledged to reach net zero emissions, and said they will seek to use some nature-based carbon offsets, to help compensate for emission reductions they are unable to cut from their operations.

Currently carbon offsets mostly trade in a voluntary market, often on a project-by-project basis.

A private sector task force on scaling up the voluntary carbon market said last year the market will need to grow 15-fold by 2030, with new trading products needed to enable organisations to meet goals set under the Paris climate agreement. (Reporting by Susanna Twidale Editing by Marguerita Choy)